US examines C-band spectrum
July 18, 2019
By Chris Forrester
The US House Sub-committee on Communications & Technology held a hearing in Washington DC on July 16th. High on the agenda was the proposal from the C-Band Alliance on restructuring of C-band over the US for 5G.
Committee chairman Michael Doyle told witnesses that in the past government-held spectrum had been successfully transitioned to the private sector.
“It makes a great deal of sense to look at [spectrum] and re-purpose as necessary. Today, Congress has an opportunity with C-band,” said Doyle. “I believe that C-band can provide an incredible opportunity…by making a significant amount of mid-band spectrum available over the next 5 years and in a way that accellerates the deployment of 5G.”
Doyle is backing a Bill which calls for a speedy FCC auction of spectrum.
Peter Pitsch, head of advocacy and government relations for the C-Band alliance, which represents the C-Band Alliance made his organisation’s pitch for a ‘market-based’ approach – and not the FCC – for the sale of spectrum. “Every existing customer will be kept whole: they will continue to distribute their programming and not incur the costs of the transition. Thus, the CBA plan protects every service that is currently provided over C-band in the US.”
Some witnesses, notably Michael Calabrese (Wireless Future Project) grumbled that the CBA’s plan would needlessly transfer billions of dollars to international satellite carriers, and argued that there should be an FCC auction.